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Press Release

Rhode Island Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant subjected victims to starvation, violent assaults with knives, belts and bats and made some of the victims brand themselves with a tattoo of his nickname

BOSTON – A Woonsocket, R.I. man was sentenced yesterday for trafficking multiple victims to engage in prostitution across seven states. 

Ronald Hall, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 18 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Hall was also ordered to pay restitution in an amount that will be determined at a later date. On Aug. 9, 2022, Hall pleaded guilty to four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count of transportation of an individual with intent to engage in prostitution.

“Mr. Hall is a predator driven by high profits and low risks. He targeted and exploited five vulnerable victims with substance use disorder – utilizing addiction and false promises of good earnings for recruitment – and then used extreme violence, threats and isolation to create a climate of fear from which he could maintain control and exploit them for his own profit,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “As the chief federal law enforcement officer in our Commonwealth, I’ve made combating this modern form of slavery one of my top priorities. Although nothing will ever erase the profound pain and trauma these victims have suffered as a result of a near-decade of exploitation and abuse from Mr. Hall, we hope this sentencing brings some long-awaited justice and accountability.”

“This sentence is a victory for justice and for the trafficked victims of Mr. Hall who were ruthlessly exploited for criminal purposes and profit,” said Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England. “We hope that this sentence can serve as some form of closure to allow Hall’s victims to begin to recover their lives from the devastation that he inflicted on them. We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney for her commitment to prosecuting human trafficking cases and to the Massachusetts State Police. whose help in this investigation was invaluable.”

From at least late 2010 through late 2019, Hall used force, threats and coercion to traffic five victims between Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Florida and Nevada, to engage in prostitution. Hall targeted and recruited several of the victims who suffered from substance use disorder and used their drug addictions to coerce them into engaging in commercial sex in exchange for drugs. Hall regularly scheduled the victims to engage in prostitution – sometimes multiple times per day, every day of the week – and took almost all of the proceeds for himself. Hall punished victims who did not meet the quotas he set for them by withholding drugs or through violence. To maintain control, Hall subjected his victims to starvation, regular threats of injury, physical abuse, forced intercourse, violent assaults with weapons including knives, belts and bats and made some of the victims brand themselves with a tattoo of his nickname.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274 or contact If you or someone you know may be impacted or experiencing commercial sex trafficking, please visit for information and resources. 

U.S. Attorney Rollins, HSI SAC Millhollin and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by Homeland Security Investigations in Rhode Island. Assistant U.S. Evan Gotlob of Rollins’ Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

To read the impact statement from one of the victims, please see attachment below.

Updated January 9, 2023

Human Trafficking